Navigating the Cat Food Shortage of 2023: Causes and What to Do

PawperCare Team

Updated on:

empty shelves

Imagine my surprise when, one sunny afternoon, I walked into my local pet store to stock up on cat food, only to be greeted by bleak, empty shelves.

The cat food shortage of 2023 had arrived at my doorstep.

After some frantic online research, I’ve finally managed to understand and navigate this crisis. Here’s what I found.

Why Is There Still A Cat Food Shortage in 2023? 

Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Why, in this advanced day and age, are we experiencing a cat food shortage?

My initial assumption was that it was merely a supply chain hiccup, but alas, the issue runs deeper.

The first culprit is the global pandemic that hit in 2020.

The lockdowns and restrictions imposed worldwide have significantly disrupted the global supply chains, making it challenging for manufacturers to source raw materials and distribute finished products.

Even in 2023, we’re still feeling the aftershocks.

What’s more, the increased demand for cat food due to the ‘pandemic pet boom’ has exacerbated the shortage.

More people staying at home meant more people adopting pets, which led to increased demand for pet food that the disrupted supply chains couldn’t meet.

Another factor is the increase in raw material prices.

From my research, I found that the cost of ingredients like meat, grains, and even packaging materials has skyrocketed, leading to reduced production.

Manufacturers, particularly smaller ones, struggle to maintain profit margins without passing the cost on to consumers, leading to lower production volumes.

Finally, climate change has yet to be kind either.

Extreme weather conditions have affected agricultural yields, causing further disruptions in the supply of ingredients used in cat food.

What To Do During A Cat Food Shortage?

When I first realized the magnitude of the shortage, I won’t lie, I was a bit panicked. 

But, channeling that energy into finding solutions, I’ve come up with some strategies.

First, I started by diversifying the brands I buy. 

I used to feed my Maine Coons a specific brand, but with the shortage, I’ve become less picky. 

I researched and found several brands that meet the dietary needs of my furry friends. 

This flexibility has made coping with the shortage a bit easier.

Next, I explored the world of homemade cat food

It’s essential to remember that cats have particular nutritional needs, and any homemade diet should be vet-approved. 

But before diving in, avoid foods that might be poisonous to your cat. You can check out our posts here:

What Foods Are Safe for Cats to Eat?

Some foods are good for cats, but some are bad or even dangerous. Follow our guide and give your cat the best food possible.

Safe Food For Your Cats

I’ve been experimenting with different recipes, and so far, my Maine Coons seem to be enjoying the change.

Another strategy has been to buy in bulk when available, but without hoarding. 

It’s crucial to remember that we’re all in this together, and hoarding will only exacerbate the problem. 

Buying a little extra, however, can help buffer against short-term shortages.

Lastly, I’ve started to incorporate wet food into my cats’ diet. 

Wet food is less impacted by the shortage and can be a good temporary substitute.

When Will The Cat Food Shortage End?

Predicting the end of the cat food shortage is like trying to read tea leaves, but from what I’ve gathered, manufacturers and suppliers are working round the clock to restore normalcy.

They’re diversifying their sources of raw materials, improving their distribution networks, and ramping up production where possible.

However, issues like ongoing supply chain disruptions and climate change effects mean it may be a while before things return to normal.

Is There A Cat Food Shortage in 2024?

As for whether the cat food shortage will continue into 2024, it’s hard to say definitively.

The situation is fluid and depends on many factors, including global economic recovery, control of the pandemic, and even the weather.

However, we, as responsible pet parents, can continue to adapt and ensure our feline friends’ needs are met.

The cat food shortage of 2023 has been an unexpected challenge, but it’s also been a learning experience.

It has taught me to be flexible, resourceful, and most importantly, to keep my Maine Coons’ needs at the heart of everything I do.

Here’s hoping that the situation improves soon, but until then, we’ll continue to adapt and overcome.

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